After the coffee. Before seeing if NBC's ratings are alive with the sound of music.
The Skinny: Survived three holiday parties this week. Now I just want to hide all weekend. Friday's roundup includes the box office preview and a hilarious story about some questionable methods a retailer for satellite broadcaster Dish Network is trying to use to get DirecTV subscribers to switch.
Daily Dose: Time Warner Cable is carrying Al Jazeera America on its systems starting Friday. In Los Angeles, Al Jazeera America will be on channels 445 (high definition) and 227 (standard definition). If you don't get it, that means you need to subscribe to Time Warner Cable's "variety tier."
Still burning. If Monday's box office results story looks familiar, there's a reason. Once again "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and "Frozen" are expected to be the top draw for moviegoers this weekend. That should change the following weekend when "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" opens. Also opening this weekend is the dark drama "Out of the Furnace," which is expected to take in $8 million. Box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.
Headed to the junk pile. All the speculation of a sale of Time Warner Cable has driven the pay-TV distributor's stock to new highs. But at the same time, the price of Time Warner Cable's 30-year bond has dropped almost 20%. There is concern about the heavy debt that would likely be used to finance a Time Warner Cable takeover and what that would do to the value of the bonds. The Wall Street Journal looks at Time Warner Cable's bond situation.
Willing to deal. In an interview with Bloomberg, Rob Marcus, Time Warner Cable's incoming chief executive, says he is not adamantly opposed to the idea of the company being acquired (Charter Communications and Comcast are said to be circling). “I am interested only in the value creation and not in entrenchment or my role here,” he told Bloomberg. He also is not lacking confidence about his own prospects if the company is sold. “If I want another job, I’m going to get one. I have no doubt. And it’s going to be a good one.” He won't need one though. Marcus also could potentially walk away with tens of millions in the event of a sale, per his contract.
Rushing to a new home. Rush Limbaugh, the conservative talk-show host whose long-running radio program continues to draw big ratings, is getting a new home in Los Angeles. Limbaugh is leaving KFI-AM for KTLK-AM next year. The move by radio giant Clear Channel (which owns both stations) is part of a plan to make KTLK an outlet for national radio personalities while KFI will have local voices. More on Limbaugh's switch from the Los Angeles Times.
There's a movie in this. Satellite broadcaster DirecTV has filed a lawsuit against Dish One, a retailer that sells rival Dish Network. The suit charges that Dish One is using shady tactics to persuade DirecTV subscribers to switch satellite services. The Dish One representatives will say they sell both services but subtly try to persuade DirecTV subscribers to switch. They even wear a DirecTV shirt as part of their act. More on the suit from the Hollywood Reporter. I'm seeing Kevin James as the DirecTV executive trying to bring down a Dish guy, perhaps played by Jonah Hill.
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